Reading with Toddlers: Guest Blog Post

 I'm pleased to introduce my former student Victoria Grant,  previously an elementary teacher, now stay-at-home mom, blogger, and a co-author of Transparent Teaching of Adolescents. 

Some toddlers really love their reading time. But what do you do if you have a reluctant reader? Reading to a toddler can be a little tricky!! Their short attention spans and varying temperaments can prove to be more than challenging.  One of my friends asked me if I had any tips for her reluctant reader. Here are some of things that I have found that have worked for me.

·         Set up a reading corner or location you read every day. When B was an infant, I had a rocking chair. Now that he is out of a crib, we read in his bed.  I think when he gets older and can read on his own, I will make a special place in his room for reading.

·          It really helps that we read before nap and bedtime. He knows what to expect and loves to pick out his own story. I also found that mid-morning was a great time for reading at this age.

·         Toddlers really thrive on consistency, so setting up a special location and time can really help and make reading enjoyable for both of you.                     

·         Don’t expect your toddler to sit through a long story.  Try shorter stories with lots of pictures.  Ask them about the pictures and quiz them on what they see. They love to show you what they know.

·         Choose a topic they like.  I started to notice around the age of two that B started picking out books he wanted to read. Those books were mainly about cars and dump trucks.  So that is what we read! Every now and then I throw in a book I like, but he usually sticks to his automobiles.

·         Try finding books that deal with a particular situation your toddler might be dealing with.  Maybe he or she is starting preschool or a new baby is on the way. Reading about these subjects can help ease any fears they may have and may make for a smoother transition. 

·         Try downloading an e-book on a tablet or Ipad.  They think it’s pretty fun “swiping” the pages, and you’re still reading to them.  Most children’s books are online, and they usually have great illustrations.  You can find lots of titles on Google, Apple, and Amazon App stores. Some are even free to download!

I hope you find these tips useful.  Reading is so important for your little one; it builds the foundation for them to become independent readers, not to mention a little bonding time for the both of you. Sometimes B and I don’t finish a story, and that’s o.k. You want your reading time to be a fun and enjoyable experience.  

Happy Reading!!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all of your suggestions! I would add that structured and planned routine reading is fantastic. The kids know what to expect and can pick out their own books. But sometimes kids just feel like reading, so be prepared to jump to it. If my little ones ever bring me a book and ask me to read it, I'm on it like white on rice. And e-books are fantastic. My kids are currently on an e-book kick because we downloaded books that have built in dictionaries. If they're not sure what a word is, they click on it and the app will read it for them, as well as pull up a definition. AWESOME!!